PhD Program


A world class graduate degree in public policy.

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Program Introduction

    The PhD program trains new policy scholars in cutting-edge techniques for policy analysis. Methods include dynamic systems modeling, content analysis using software, network analysis, large-scale online surveys, and various quasi-experimental approaches. Conceptual frameworks include policy systems, policy narratives, institutional analysis, social-ecological systems, communication and behavioral psychology, complexity theory, and deliberative democracy.

    Our PhD supervisors are highly interdisciplinary scholars who can supervise topics such as urban management, e-governance, sustainability sciences, energy policies, earth system governance, economic development, and ASEAN integration. All academics have degrees from world’s top-ranking universities and are very active in real policy work with governments, policy think-tanks, civil society organizations, and international institutions such as the World Bank, the EU, Stockholm Environment Institute, UNDP, and ASEAN.

    Students will have great opportunities to travel for academic conferences, to join vibrant research teams of the School, to practice teaching, and to learn the ropes of proposal writing and authoring publications. International students have a wonderful base from which to explore and study Thailand and Asia, the rising region in the world today.

    We process PhD applications on a rolling basis. Both admissions and scholarship decisions are handed out between two application deadlines.

    1st Round: 28 Feb
    2nd Round: 31 May

    Because we use a rolling admissions process, it is always to your advantage to apply well before the deadlines.

    For enquiries contact:

Available Scholarships

    1. Thomas J. and Catherine V. Kittredge Scholarship (TCK Scholarship)

    2. Thai Government Scholarship (for Thais only)

    3. Chiang Mai University Presidential Scholarship

    4. Research Assistantships


Plan Plan 1
Thesis only
Plan 2
Coursework + Thesis
Coursework N/A 4 Compulsory courses
(12 credits)
Theories of Public Policy
Qualitative Research Methods for Policy Analysis
Quantitative Research Methods for Policy Analysis
Seminars in Public Policy
Thesis PhD Thesis (48 credits) PhD Thesis (36 credits)
Total credits 48 credits 48 credits
Duration of study 3 years 4 years
Fee/ course 15100 USD 22600 USD

Key Facts

3-4 Years (with option of thesis only or thesis + coursework)

Expert supervisors with excellent publication records and practical experience

Intensive training in research design and methods

Low tuition costs: 480,000 Baht (ca. 13,000 USD) for thesis only option, or 720,000 Baht (ca. 22,000 USD) for thesis and coursework pathway.

Scholarships available

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Code Course

Theories of Public Policy

Introduction to policy science, Evolution of the public policy field, Public policy analysis, Institutional theory, Multiple streams framework, Advocacy Coalition Framework, Policy systems and subsystems, Policy change, Policy transfer and diffusion, Public choice theory, Policy networks, Actor network theory, and Comparative Policy Analysis


Qualitative Research Methods for Policy Analysis

Introduction to qualitative research methods, Ontology and Epistemology, Validity and Reliability and the Role of Theory, Designing Qualitative & Mixed Methods Research, Data Sources, Measurement and Qualitative Data Collection Tools, Designing Questions for Interview and Survey Techniques, Fieldwork Strategies and Ethics for Research, Case Study Research, Mixing Data and Triangulation, Narratives, Grounded Theory, Types of Qualitative Data Analyses, Coding Qualitative Data, Quantitative Techniques for Qualitative Data Analysis, Writing Up Qualitative & Mixed Research, and Theoretical debates,issues and ethical dilemmas of qualitative research


Quantitative Research Methods for Policy Analysis

Basic methodologies used in quantitative social description. The role of quantitative analysis in public policy analysis and evaluation, Quantitative research design, Data Collection and Measurement, Data Description: Descriptive statistics; measures of dispersion, Probability: Different quantitative techniques; introduction to statistical inference, Hypothesis Testing: Null hypothesis; logic of testing; sample t test, Cross-Tabulation: Comparisons of group means; cross-tabs; Chi2 statistics, Correlation and Introduction to Regression Basic concepts; correlation; bivariate regression, Assumptions of Regression Analysis: 5 classical assumptions; properties of an estimator, Multiple Regressions: Extension of bivariate model; partial slope coefficients, Time Series Analysis: An Introduction, Basic Regression Analysis with Time Series Data, Conducting empirical policy analysis


Seminar in Public Policy

Introduction to wicked problems and public policy, System thinking and evidence-based public policy Politics of public policy, Public policy and international relations, Sustainable development goals and public policy, Issues and challenges in environmental policy, Issues and challenges in urban management policy, Issues and challenges in digital and governance policy,Contemporary issues in public policy.